Preparing for the future world of work

Preparing for the future world of work 2560 1920 Timewade

Blog written by Julian Wills, Managing Director of Timewade 

Many UK workers have, for the last 16 months, been based at home. 

However, an end to home working is in sight, with businesses gradually returning to offices since July 19. 

Business leaders have been consulting with staff and preparing their teams for what the working practices of the future will look like. Whether that’s a complete return to the office, a more flexible hybrid working solution or a continuation of full-time home working, it’s vital that your business is prepared with the right technology, and that your staff feel like their needs are being met.

In this blog we’ll discuss how business leaders can prepare for whatever the future looks like when home working is no longer mandatory. 


Review your technology

Throughout the pandemic, having the right technology in place has been vital to business success and this is not set to change as things ‘return to normal’. 

As you plan for the future and perhaps a more hybrid way of working, with teams working from home and the office, it is important to consider whether your technology facilitates effective working across multiple locations. 

Solutions such as SharePoint allow your teams to store their work in one place using cloud technology. These solutions allow employees to access documents, files and emails from any place at any time.

The providers of these workspace solutions are preparing for an increase in hybrid working. Google Workspace recently unveiled new productivity features to make the transition to hybrid working as smooth as possible. 

Whether your team decides to work from home or in the office, it is likely that there will be variety amongst your clients and customers, and virtual meetings are here to stay. To ensure that your meetings run smoothly, it is important to ensure that your team is equipped with a high quality internet connection, video / webcam functionality, high quality audio and a professional background. 

Cloud-based telephone systems also allow staff to make calls from anywhere, ensuring a professional service to customers and clients and the ability to facilitate team calls quickly and efficiently. 


Talk to your staff

The past 16 months have presented personal and professional challenges for you, your business and your employees. The businesses that have come out strongest are those which have put employee wellbeing at the front and centre of how they do this. 

Balancing work and home life has become a challenge with some employees struggling to switch off, responding to emails out of hours and feeling as though they are ‘living at work’ rather than ‘working from home’.

As you consider how your business will work in the future it is vital to consult your employees and ask them how they are feeling and what their preferences are. 

Whilst some may have enjoyed the additional time spent at home, others may be desperate to get back to the structure of visiting the office. The only way to know is to ask, and to make decisions based on feedback. 

If specific concerns are raised by your staff, consider how technology could be used to support them. For example, could you turn off notifications so that your team is not disturbed out of hours? Could you set up meetings which can be attended face to face as well as virtually so that everyone can be involved wherever they are based?

Technology is a fantastic enabler, but it must be managed with human needs in mind so that it supports your team rather than overwhelming them.


Prioritise security

We’ve become all too aware that cyber security threats are on the rise.

Cyber criminals have seized the opportunity presented by staff working across a variety of locations, and online crime rates have risen dramatically. 

An article from Forbes states that over 90% of data breaches are caused by human error. It is therefore important that your employees are aware of the latest threats so that they know what to look out for: suspicious looking links, unfamiliar emails, and unauthorised applications.

Employers should also be prioritising cyber security with their IT team or provider to ensure that the latest firewalls are used and encryptions are up to date.

Whether you’re heading back to the office as soon as possible or introducing hybrid working solutions, ensure that your team is prepared and has access to the right technology to safely do their best work. 

The Timewade team are supporting small and medium sized businesses to prepare their workforce for the future world of work. However that future looks for your organisation, contact Timewade to learn how we can support you.

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